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Afghanistan 25, Us 21, Obama 10, United States 7, Michael Moore 5, Katrina 5, Sarah Palin 4, Barack Obama 4, U.s. 4, Braun 3, Pakistan 3, Taliban 3, Todd Webster 3, Harry Reid 3, Palin 3, George Bush 3, Iraq 3, Levitra 3, Robert Greenwald 2, Dick Cheney 2,
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  MSNBC    The Ed Show    News/Business. New.  

    November 24, 2009
    6:00 - 7:00pm EST  

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ticket with senator mccain. she, in her book, it's largely a score settling book. there is not a lot of policy laid out in that book. it looks like she's doing it to further her own private ambitions, which is totally fine, but not her political ambiti ambitions. ron is right. if she wants to be elected president of the united states, not head of the republican party, she needs to broaden her coalition. the problem with that -- >> this country -- they might do it again. thank you ron brownstein, chris cilliz cillizza. join us tomorrow night at 5:00 eastern for more "hardball." time for "the ed show" with ed schultz zblrngs good evening, americans. welcome to "the ed show" tonight from new york. one week from tonight the president of the united states is going to lay out his strategy for afghanistan. newspapers are reporting today that the president will add, here's the number, 34,000 additional troops over the next year. president obama gave a preview to this decision this afternoon.
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>> after eight years, some of those years in which we did not have, i think, either the resources or the strategy to get the job done, it is my intention to finish the job. >> finish the job. make no mistake, this is just one more mess that president obama has to mop up after the bush administration. bush was the president who drained resources from afghanistan so we could go invade iraq on that perfect intelligence. bush never got bin laden dead or alive. bush never established a functional government over there in afghanistan. bush never eliminated the taliban. thanks a lot. so let's get out of magic wand and wave it now because here comes president obama and he's just expected to solve all of these problems in afghanistan. well, it isn't going to be easy. the country is split right down the middle when it comes to a troop increase. in the latest cnn poll, 50%
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support an increase. 49% are against it. so, no matter what president obama does, half the country's going to be bad mouthing him. president obama had one hell of an opportunity right now to do this the correct way. he needs to lay it out. give clear objectives. the president needs to be crystal clear when it comes to a strategy, a timetable, a line in the sand, a drop-dead date, whatever you want to call it. he promised to do that today. >> it is in our strategic interest, in our national security interest, to make sure that al qaeda and its extremist allies cannot operate effectively in those areas. we are going to dismantle and degrade their capabilities and ultimately dismantle and destroy their networks. i feel confident when the american people hear a clear rationale for what we're doing there and how we intend to achieve our goals that they will
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be supportive. >> okay. that might be a pipe dream for the left. no matter how the president lays this out next tuesday night, there is one thing that he's got to be crystal clear on. and that is, this is going to cost billions of dollars. i mean, billions of dollars. now, let me get my wallet out on this thing tonight, just to play along with this here. this is what it's all about. it's about the money, right. >> come on, you righties. you love war out there, don't you? i mean, heck, unfunded mandates, you know, iraq and afghanistan were never in the bush budget until the democrats got ahold of it. so what do you say? 20 bucks a week? how about 40? what do you say we pay $40 a week more for the war in afghanistan? let's see. if we could do this, get $40 a week out of any -- should we say, 100 million americans, that would raise $200 billion. heck, the president's only going to be asking for $40 billion.
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we'd have another $160 billion to do what? health care. congress needs to decide if they're willing to dish out an additional billion dollars to get this done. president obama has to do something that bush never did, and that is, ask the american people to sacrifice. the top 2% has been living high off the hog for the last eight years. it's time that, hey, let's all step up and take one for the team. bush and cheney dithered away for eight years, hundreds of billions of dollars with no plan in afghanistan. they didn't get the job done, and now obama's got to mop it up. he's going to have to ask us to pay for it, right, or the congress is going to have to do it. if you righties love war so much, time to pay the price. pony up. see, you want president obama to fail, don't you? that's right. that's what the right wants. they bad mouth him all the time. here's what hthey want to do, part of the neocon agenda. to blow up the federal budget
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deficit to the point of no return, cut every especial program this country's ever had and the way you do that is you rope the new president into a war because we can't cut and run. mr. president, you have to do this the correct way. it's your call. the american people and the world are starving for realistic leadership. i guess you could say, mr. president, that this is your 3:00 a.m. wake-up call. it's a tough call. your presidency could be riding on it. folks, get your cell phones out tonight. i want to know what you think. it's about taxes. are you willing to pay higher taxes to fund the war? are you willing to pay more? that, maybe there are 20 or $40 a week more? are you willing to pay more to do the deal in afghanistan? text a for yes, b for no it 622639. result s later on in the show. joining me now, washington congressman adam smith, member of the house armed services committee. and we are glad you're here
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tonight, congressman. you have taken a couple of trips over to afghanistan. from what you hear so far, could you support a troop increase to the tune of 34,000, 35,000 and $35 billion a year? >> first of all, ed, i listened to your intro and agree with everything you said about the hard position that president obama has been put in after eight years of not having a clear plan and strategy in afghanistan. i also completely agree that we ought to pay for it. we should have paid for it in the first place and certainly should now. we have heard from conservatives all over the place about how -- >> so you support it? >> absolutely. well, sorry, i would support paying for it. the troop increase depends on what else is part of it. what is the strategy? what is the plan? because the one thing we know, we've relied too much on the central government. the karzai government has been corrupt and inefficient. what's our plan for changing that? who are we going to work with on the local level? what are we going to do? >> congressman, respectfully, we have been asking these same
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questions. we are now in year number line. >> absolutely. >> what is 35,000 more troops going to do to change or answer any of the questions you just posed, which are very legitimate, obviously? but, look, we're either in or we're out of iraq. we're either going to resource this or we're not. is it worth american lives, is it worth american treasure in your opinion? >> afghanistan, not iraq. >> yeah. >> first of all, yes, i believe there's a national security interest. president explained it as crisply and clearly as he could. in the clip you showed about the threat we face from al qaeda and the taliban, we have a national security interest in making sure the al qaeda and taliban do not become resurgent in afghanistan. >> that means we're going to be there forever. if this is a religious cultural war and they want to kill us, how is this war going to end? >> it's going to end if we have an afghan government and afghan people that are able to stop the taliban. >> so nation building? >> no. no.
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i don't think it is a matter of building up a nation. i think it is a matter of training troops and offering a support system in there that gets them to the point where they can do it. i mean, pakistan right now is fighting back against the taliban. we don't have 65,000 troops or even 1,000 troops in pakistan. that's a government that's able to fight back despite the fact al qaeda and taliban are there. >> so our existence in afghanistan depends on how effective the pakistani army is against al qaeda? >> no -- ed, that's not what i said. >> well, wait a minute. >> you've asked about seven or eight questions. i want to try to answer them. what it depends on in afghanistan is having an afghan population. all i'm saying is that pakistan proves that it is possible to have a government that's willing to resist this force without a huge u.s. troop presence. that's what we need to get to. on the troop question, you know, i don't know right now whether or not we need 35,000 more troops. the president's got to make his case and tell us what the plan
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is. we need absolutely unquestionably a different strategy. that is what is, i think, completely clear. that's what the president is giving us. >> the different strategy going to be exactly what the generals want. he's 6,000, 5,000 short of what was requested over there. congressman, good to have you with us tonight. the point here is there's probably going to be democratic support for the president if he adds troops over there which i personally don't get. for more, let me bring in robert greenwald, director of rethink afghanistan. also been to afghanistan. robert, where are the afghanistan people in this? do they want us there? >> no. there's significant evidence they don't want us there. the talk that we're going over there for their security is nonsense. the congressman should well know the recent reporting, one in every four afghans are leaving the army after and during the training. so how are we ever going to have an army to turn over to? let alone this corrupt government that is despised throughout the country?
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>> how do we keep, you know, that portion of the world, afghanistan, from being a threat to the united states? >> well, afghanistan's the third poorest country in the world. i don't see how they're a threat. what we're doing is we're taking sides in a civil war. do you want to spend $1 million a troop to take sides? >> i don't want training tamps by al qaeda, that's for sure. >> the training camps aren't there. the u.s. has said there are less than 100 al qaeda in afghanistan. do we need to occupy an entire country for 100 bad guys? i don't think so. there's a lot of other ways to deal with it. this is old-fashioned ignorant thinking making us less secure and hurting our country at home, ed. can you imagine the jobs that could be provided? the homes that could be saved and the health care for this kind of money? >> well, it does kind of play into the old bush strategy. you have to fight them over there so we don't fight them over here. i mean, this is -- you add 35,000 troops and another $40
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billion, i mean, this is bush all over again. there's no end to this. and i don't know how president obama is going to sell this to his base and the righties are, you know, are going to use it against him saying, of course, he's never tough enough, he's never strong enough, he can't win. so this is a call, i think, that could be a pivotal moment in his presidency. i know health care's important, obviously, and the economy, but i mean, to a lot of americans this looks like more of the same. >> i think you're absolutely right. it is a critical moment. we know what happens to administrations that go to war. it affects their hopes, it affects their dreams, it affects the domestic plans, affects our moral standing. most fundamentally, ed, this is not a war that's going to make us safer. there are security interests, but the idea of occupying this country with hundreds of thousands of americans, all the death, it doesn't make sense. >> mr. greenwald, great to have you with us tonight. how is the president going
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to sell this to his base? how is he going to communicate the mission to the american people? he just can't go out and hold a press conference and say, that's it, got that off the table, now let's go. radio talk show host bill press with us tonight here on "the ed show." the base is going to be shaking on this one, bill. i don't care how you slice it. you talk to him every day. how will this play out? >> you know what, ed, we're two days from thanksgiving, but i don't think barack obama, with all of his oratorical skills, than sell this turkey. i really don't. i mean, look, the american people rallied behind the president any time we go to war, right? this is different. first of all, there's no perceived threat among the american people from afghanistan. robert greenwald is right. secondly, the president has got to rally people behind a war that he's not starting, that george bush started eight years ago. >> so to fix it is to do the same thing bush was doing? >> but he has to say, ed, this war is not only worth continuing, it's worth expanding and that we're going to finish
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the job. most people don't know what the job is. >> big political gamble? >> maybe this will work if the president says there's a fixed state. we'll give them 35,000 troops in 12 months, we're home, for 24 months we're home. i promise you, maybe that would work, but, boy, i have to tell you, this is a loser for obama. he ought to go back -- the job he ought to be doing is american jobs, not afghanistan. >> if the president goes down this road of adding more troops and trying to mop up what bush did, if he puts a date to it, he's going to get criticized by the republicans on that. if he draws down the troops after the increase he's going to be accused of cutting and running and not finishing the job. i mean, sooner or later we have to be americans about this. forget the party stuff of it. do the american people really believe that if we send 35,000 more troops and $40 billion in a conflict that characteristically over theyears, ask the
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russians, there's no end to it. i don't know how obama is going to sell this and lead the country. >> i agree with you. this is a country that has never had a central government. this idea we're going to be there and our presence, we're going to train people and give them this big democracy that can take care of itself, it ain't going to happen. the american people don't believe it. they're tired of this war. they don't see the need to be there. >> bill press, if i don't see you before thanksgiving, god bless you and thanks for being on our program so much. you eat a lot of turkey. you come back ten pounds heavier, all right? >> have a great one, ed. i think this is a terrible dilemma for the president. you know, you're damned if you do, danned if you don't. if you look at the totality of it, you know, we were told iraqi oil was going to pay for what happened in iraq. who's going to pay for this?
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conservatives ask yourself the question tonight. you run around with soccer mom vans with yellow stickers about how you support the troops. are you willing to pay another $20 a week, another $40 a week, to get this deal done? hell no. you know you're not for a tax increase. tell the truth. all right, coming up, my next guest does not mince words or make idle threats when it comes to health care reform and getting it done. independent senator bernie sanders to get his take in just a moment. plus, the drug ster has found a way to relate health care reform to suicide bombings and virgins. oh, you have to stay around for "psycho talk." stay with us. e. you got the presentation? oh yeah right here. let me stow that for you, sir. thank you. you know, just to be safe i used fedex office print online. oh you did? yeah -- they printed and bound 20 copies of the presentation, shipped it to portland, they're gonna be there waiting for us. that's a good idea. yeah. you have a nice flight. thank you.
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(announcer) print online...you upload your document -- we'll take care of the rest. jeep. knowing reality isn't captured by a hidden camera. it doesn't come in episodes either. you see i don't live to live through anyone ever. so while everyone waits to see the next best this or an unbelievable that. here's the reality. there's no rerun when your living in the now. so while you tune in i'll be somewhere getting out. i live. i ride. i am. jeep. shooter's at it again, taking every shot he can at the president's foreign policy. he says that it is fundamentally harmful when obama shows respect to other leaders around the world? we'll get to the bottom of it. r3 with its special shaving head, cuts short hairs just as well as long ones
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welcome back to "the ed show." joe lieberman says he's going to be stubborn when it comes to filibustering a health care bill with a public option. trader joe doesn't want, let's see, an opt out? he doesn't want an opt in. he doesn't want a trigger. some democrats have had enough of lieberman calling the shots on health care reform. they say harry reid will lose their votes if he caves to lieberman's demands. joining me now, independent senator bernie sanders of vermont. senator, good to have you with us tonight. i want you to -- >> good to be with you, ed. >> you bet. thank you, sir. i want you to clarify, not that you haven't, but to make sure
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we're on the same page, would you filibuster this bill if it did not have a public option? >> i would be very, very reluctant to go forward, ed, with a program with a policy that provides hundreds of billions of dollars in subsidies to the insurance companies without a public option, without strong cost containment. you're just talking about a bailout for the private insurance companies and that's something i can't support. >> do you think that there are other democratic senators that would stand with you on this? >> yes, i do. i think what we have -- you have a political problem and you have a public policy problem. the political problem, ed, is that the vast majority of the american people want to have a choice between a medicare-type public plan and a private plan and second of all, with the health care costs soaring, there's got to be a mechanism in place to control what private insurance companies want to do, which is to raise rates every
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single day. and without a strong public option, i don't know how you do that. as you indicated -- yeah -- what you have is a couple of senators who despite what the president wants, despite what the american people want, despite what the house wants, despite what a majority of the senators want, they're saying no. we're going to need, i think, a plan "b" here. >> what would plan "b" be if harry reid can't get conservative democrats on board? what do you suggest being plan "b?" >> rather than caving in to a few of the more conservative democrats a plan "b" would say we don't have the 60 votes. " "a" we go through reconciliation or "b" see what we can agree on. insurance reform. nobody i know thinks it's appropriate for insurance companies to deny care for pre-existing condition or throwing people off of health care because they were sick in the previous year. what we can do is take on the drug companies. we can start negotiating and the house bill has this. negotiate prices with the drug
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companies and fill that so-called donut hole in medicare part "d." number three what we can do is greatly expand medicaid and strengthen medicaid. we can add 15 million more people to the health insurance rolls if we do that. we can do forward in terms of primary health care and community health centers. 60 million people in this country do not have access to a doctor or dentist or mental health counseling or low cost prescription drugs. we could do all those things. that's pretty good. maybe we could get 60 votes on that without giving huge subsidies to private insurance companies. >> what do you think the white house play should be at this point with all the tough talking coming from joe lieberman and blanche lincoln and ben nelson and mary landrieu. what would you expect them to do? it seems to me they would have to come to the poker game pretty soon. the window of opportunity is starting to close here pretty fast. >> they have to pony up to the table immediately and they have to make it clear that either
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those guys -- those more conservatives democrats are not going to join a republican filibuster or you come up with a plan "b" so the president can, in fact, say, look, we don't -- we are being boycotted in essence by the republicans. let's not forget that. you have on the bush -- the complete deterioration of health care. they did nothing. they are keeping that trend going now by playing an obstructionist role. we don't have republican support. i think what the president has to do, either you get 60 votes to say no to republican filibusters or we come together on a scaled down but still strong health care program. >> senator, happy thanksgiving to you. and thanks for joining us. i admire your fight in all of this. i appreciate you willing to stand out in the vermont weather tonight to talk to us about this crucial issue. >> thank you very much. >> thanks so much, bernie. i appreciate it. coming up, the drugster found a way to compare democrats who want health care reform to suicide bombers. this one, you won't even believe
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it. it's a double dose of "psycho talk."
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from l.l. bean. ♪ and in "psycho talk" tonight, we have the drugster. i think rush is feeling a little threatened by some of his right wing nut "psycho talk" competitors because he's really pulling out all the stops. on his show he was, of course, ripping the health care bill, then he started to compare democrats to suicide bombers in the congress and it just went
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down hill from there. >> they're strapping the bombs on, the bombs of these health care bills. they're going to get, with this bill, if it's signed into law, they're going to get their 72 virgins. they're going to get a lifetime supply of viagra or cialis. their choice. and they're not going to die. they're going to get the 72 virgins in their offices or in the capitol wading pool. or wherever they want them. >> was he talking about senator visit vitter there? no, he's a republican. let me get this straight. according to rush the democrats are, like, indestructible suicide bombers who can't get enough viagra? or maybe he's just mad that the only way he can get a little blue pill fix is by sneaking away to the dominican republic with someone else's prescription. but that convoluted analogy of his is one hard "psycho talk" pill to swallow, isn't it? coming up, the gun lobby has
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jumped on the anti-health care bill bandwagon. a key leader is going to be here to explain why he thinks passing reform will restrict your right to bear arms? that's coming up in the "playbook." plus, shooter seems to have inspired an anti-obama billboard psycho we had on this show last night. i'll outline the vicious cycle of bullet points that started the whole thing with sarah palin. that's right. you're watching "the ed show." y, let's fine-tune your business to take advantage of new opportunities. (music volume decreases) well, ups can help lower warehouse costs, (music volume increases) while increasing your global reach. (volume increases, decreases) more ups technology can help bring down paperwk. (music volume increases) and ups has more shipping options than anyone. hey, it's time to seize the opportunities with ups. (backbeat swells) there, now that sounds perfect.
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back to "the ed show." got a lot of reaction on this story last night. i can't get over this billboard story in colorado. i talked to the owner last night on this program. seemed like a regular guy. although he thinks a little different. could be your neighbor. he owns a car dealership just 30 miles outside denver. i asked him directly, how did you get to the point where, you know, you go pay for your own billboard and go after the president of the united states?
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i'm curious as to how folks like you think in the middle of the country. what has barack obama done to you? >> barack obama personally hasn't done anything to me. any time there's an event, whether it's george bush or barack obama or bill clinton it seems like every president takes the failures or the deceptiveness of the first one and pushes it further. what barack obama has done for me, it's going down the train as far as addressing what the common guy, the little guy, is all about. nobody wants to answer these questions. i think they think the american people are stupid. >> little confusing there, but whatever. you see, i don't think this guy got there on his own, because a lot of what i heard from the owner of that billboard really comes directly from the leaders of the republican party. so let's connect the dots on this. now, it was a year ago sarah palin the republican party's chosen vice presidential candidate tells voters in colorado, where that billboard
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is, that obama pals around with terrorists. >> this is not a man who sees america as you and i see america. our opponent is someone who sees america as imperfect enough to pal around with terrorists. >> well, the comment was outrageous and palin was roundly criticized for it. pundits say palin went too far with the mainstream folks of america. she and mccain got their clocks cleaned in november of 2008. let's fas forward to november of 2009. the republican party's chosen vice president dick cheney goes on a radio show yesterday and says this about the president bowing in japan. >> this is a guy, a president who would bow, for example, who doesn't fully understand or have the same perception of the u.s. role in the world that i think most americans have. >> obama sees america
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differently. palin and cheney, same line of attack. obama doesn't understand america. he is not like a real american. cheney goes on to say this -- >> i see president obama as somebody who bows to foreign leaders and then spends his trips abroad primarily apologizing for u.s. behavior. i just -- i find that very upsetting. >> and here's the owner of the anti-obama billboard saying that exact thing to me last night. >> you know, when he runs around the country and apologizes for who i am as an american, that disturbs me, sir. >> well, the level of discourse in this country and the rhetoric is really paralleling that of the 1960s. it's unbelievable what we put our leaders through. isn't there one thing we can sign up for? how about the american team? for more, let me bring in our panel tonight. couple of guys i respect. democratic strategist todd
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webster. republican strategist john feehery. gentlemen, your thoughts, number one, on this billboard, but also the parallel in the rhetoric that goes along with republican leaders. todd webster? it's very clear that this guy is spewing out almost ver baitle what republican leaders who were elected, who were trying to get elected, said on the campaign trail. your thoughts. >> no question the discourse has gotten more course over the last decade, as congressional districts become more and more homogenius. the reality, i think this strategy, the divisive racial strategy worked well for nixon in the southern strategy in the early '70s years ago but the demographic makeup of the country is changing. younger voters are voting for democratic. single and unmarried voters who are a majority in this country voting democratic and non-white voters voting democratic. i think to continue to pursue a
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strategy that is race baiting and that is, you know, attacking democrats the way that republicans are doing it is not a long-term recipe for success. >> john feehery, i don't think it's a stretch. when you have the former vice president of the united states continually attacking the president, people out there take it to the next level. i mean, they think some of these republican leaders, i mean, it's coming right out of the gospel, tempers flare. who knows where this is going to end up. why doesn't the republican party cool it? why don't they tell people this isn't who we are? or is that who they are? >> ed, i must say, i'm kind of shocked by this. i remember very specifically the members of the left viciously attacking george bush in a way that i never had seen before, way beyond what they're doing with barack obama. i mean, this is the competition for ideas. if republicans -- i think that some republican leaders are going to be concerned about the president bowing to the japanese
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emperor. i wasn't one of those, but some americans are going to be concerned about that. >> can we show the billboard again? i want to show the billboard up. it had the president of the united states with a turbine on. it is racist and the republicans will not distance themselves from this. in fact, you have dick cheney going out there intimating that, yeah, this is who the guy is. >> let me say this, ed. remember when michael moore said that president bush was somehow implicated in 9/11? i didn't see democratic leaders -- >> michael moore is not an elected official, john. michael moore is not an official party member. >> can i just get in? >> wait a minute. >> the republican leaders had nothing to do with this billboard. >> row cannot compare michael moore to the vice president of the united states and you can't compare him to someone who is running to be vice president of the united states. this is clearly taken to a level -- the republicans just do not distance themselves from this. >> ed schultz, are you saying the vice president can not -- the former vice president cannot
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criticize the president for bowing to the japanese emperor? you can't say they can't do that? >> look, he's showing us -- he claims he's saying it's fundamentally wrong, that it's fundamentally weak and that he is putting the -- >> he believes that. is that so wrong? >> don't you see how this rhetoric gets elevated then people act on it? >> moveon.org attacked david petraeus calling him david betrayus. >> moveon.org is a liberal organization -- we're talking about -- wait a minute, now. hold on. sarah palin on the record, she says that barack obama pals around with terrorists. show the billboard again. in the very same state, look what happens a year later. hey, president or jihad? john, how can you deny the fact that there are righties out there and republicans who don't denounce it, that take this rhetoric to the next level? >> i will condemn that billbo d billboard. i don't like it. i will say that as the french
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philosopher once said, i may not like what you have to say but i will defend to your death the right to say it. the great thing about america, you have a competition of ideas, crazy ideas are automatically discarded and we have to have a competition for good ideas. i don't like that billboard. i think it's -- i don't think it's helpful. he has a right to do it just like michael moore had his right to do his crazy, crazy movies. >> with freedom of speech goes a responsibility. the first -- >> i agree with that. >> the first amendment of the constitution isn't freedom of speech to do whatever the hell you want to do. it's responsibility, the freedom of speech. this rhetoric is reckless, insightful and put out there by sarah palin and backed up by dick cheney. >> when moveon.org said david betrayus, they were doing the same thing. >> i don't know if anybody at moveon.org has been running for president or vice president. >> they funded the left's campaigns. >> i can tell you this guy's
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funding some people that are running for office as well. hell, he's taking out a billboard. that's inkind if nothing else. i believe this is dangerous stuff and has gone too far and i think it's up to the republicans to reel in all the rhetoric. todd webster, your last thought. >> i tend to agree with john. i think it was abraham lincoln who said i may disagree with what you say but i'll defend it to death your right to say it. glenn beck still has the freedom of speech, the freedom of association to go and assemble with the t.e.a. partyers and t.e.a. baggers and birthers and the freedom of the press to go out and is free to be a knuckle head five nights a week on television. all the freedoms people are afraid of abridged are there in full force. i think it's distasteful and i think it -- at a macrolevel it continues to hurt the republican brand and makes them more of a regional party in the south and a few spots in the west. >> i think some of these folks
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out there feel so disenfranchised that the republican party can't denounce is it because then they would lose them for good. >> that's their base -- the democratic base -- >> i don't think there's any doubt about that. i don't think they think the politicians are listening to them. there's no doubt about that there's an element out there on both the right and left that feel completely disenfranchised from washington. >> got to run. have a great thanksgiving. appreciate you coming on the program regularly. good conversation. coming up, health care reform is now in the crosshairs of the gun lobby. the head of the gun owners for america and i, we're going to duel it out next in the "playbook." to learn that it may have led to my erectile dysfunction. that's when my doctor told me about levitra. (announcer) certain medical conditions, including high blood pressure and high cholesterol, can decrease blood flow, which may lead to ed. that was news to me and my doctor told me levitra could help. (announcer) levitra works by increasing blood flow to help treat ed. ask your doctor if you're healthy enough
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in my "playbook" tonight, as if health care reform doesn't have enough problems, the gun lobby is in the act trying to shut it down. gun owners of america organization is telling its members the health care bill we're considering in america will let president obama take away their weapons. let me bring in the exec fif director of the group, larry prats. do you believe that if we pass health care reform in this country that it's going to restrict gun ownership? i need an explanation on this one. good to have you with us. >> good evening, thank you for having me on. there's two main concerns that we have with this health care legislation. the first is that for quite some time there's been a building of privacy invasion starting in 2007. medical records were -- had to be computerized and sent to the fbi. if they had anything to do with,
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you might be a danger to self or others. no trial, no conviction, no due process. just send the names over. >> you think the database and all the information gathering would help law enforcement deny and laws help deny people getting guns? >> denying is not the problem. it's doing it without due process, without a trial, without any of those sorts of protections that a real criminal would have. we're treating people as if they were criminals. >> what if somebody has a mental condition? would you want mr. hassan after all he wrote, do you think it's okay for him to buy a gun because he ended up killing a bunch of people and wounding another 40? >> i think instead of ignoring his jihadi tendencies, saying, we don't have enough muslims in the military so we have to let him go through, the thing to do would have been at a minimum, kick him out of the military and maybe go from there. >> you think it would have been -- you have no problem with
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the guy who shot up ft. hood and murdered people allegedly -- you think it's okay for him to own a gun after all the information that's come out against -- >> what we have a problem with is that was a gun-free zone. it was a marvelous place. like the other mass murder scenes in our country were gun-free zones. >> mr. pratt, what's wrong with gun confiscation if we can keep a gun out of the hands of someone who has got some real mental issues that happen to come up through health care reform? doesn't that make us safer? it doesn't mean you can or i can or some other healthy person can't get a firearm. >> do you have an aversion to putting people to trial before you take away their rights? is that what it is? you want to accuse? >> i believe psychiatrists and psychologists should have the power to deny -- you shouldn't own a firearm. >> that's a dictatorial -- they use that in germany, the soviet
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uni uni union, cuba. that doesn't have any place in america. >> it has a place. gun ownership, especially for handguns, has chinged in this country. your other claim is the government would allow lower premiums for employees who prescribe their employees to live healthier lifestyles. >> that's one of the big buzzes about what's going on. they're going to go after fat people. the way the national institutes of health is going, despite of a ban on the disease control, the national institutes of health is starting to renew the federal government's interest in guns and public health. this will go with a very anti-gun administration. >> got to have you back. appreciate your time today. only in america, freedom of speech. coming up, arianna huffi huffington warns the unemployment disaster will be obama's katrina. we'll talk about that with congressman gregory meeks when we come back. national car rental knows i'm picky.
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welcome back to "the ed show." president obama has to start making the economic recovery felt on main street. they're working on it. we have had 22 straight months of job loss, unemployment at the highest rate in 26 years and now "huffington post" founder arianna huffington has written a piece comparing obama's response to unemployment to bush's incompetence after hurricane katrina. for more on that, let me bring
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in democratic congressman gregory meeks. congressman, good to have you with us tonight. >> good to be with you. >> arianna huffington writes and compares to the 2,500 flyover that bush did over hurricane katrina to the president looking down on the economy now. is that a bridge too far? what do you think? >> that's almost laughable. when you look at this president, before he was even elected president he was focused on the jobs issue. he was talking about that we have to make sure that we create jobs again. now, unfortunately, the damage that was done from the storm, the financial storm that took place, the first thing that you have to do is you have to build a pillar. the pillar of roots in the ground. the roots in the ground, we have is to recover the economy. that's why this is the biggest catastrophe we've had since. >> it's about jobs. what's the next pillar in your o opini opinion? what does the president have to do? >> you're going to see soon we're going to pass the transportation bill next year that's going to create jobs. on december 3rd the president is
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having a jobs summit of which he's bringing together small business, big business, organizations, not for profits of which we're going to talk about how we put things in place and moving in that direction. i think as the money, the stimulus money -- you have to remember most of that money has not been spent yet. as we begin to lay that money out that's going to create more jobs. the first part of it actually saved some jobs. >> you know, i get the infrastructure and i get the government funding and all that stuff. the private sector is going to have to create jobs for long-term sustainable growth if we're going to turn out of this thing. is this not a real serious moment for the obama administration, this jobs summit that they're going to have next month? >> absolutely it's a serious moment. we have not had this kind of problem since the great depression. people forget that for the great depression it took us ten years to get -- almost world war ii. that's not going to be as long in this situation because this president is focused on it. i predict jobs will be created
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and we start looking at a six to eight month period of time you'll start seeing jobs created. this president is on the mark and ready and moving and focused in getting it done. >> congressman meeks, appreciate your time tonight. thanks so much. >> my pleasure. for more let's go to our panel tonight. associate editor and columnist for "the hill" a.b. stoddard. editor and chief of salon.com, joan walsh. joan, could it be barack obama's katrina? >> i wouldn't call it that. arianna is a good friend of mine, a wonderful writer but i think it's a little bit of hyperbole that insults obama and insults katrina survivors. katrina was an example of government incompetence or indifference. obama is not incompetent or indifferent but he is dragging his heels on this issue a little bit. like our yan tharianna i don't administration poo-pooing the idea of a second stimulus.
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i think we're going to need one. he's facing revolt from the democratic party. nancy pelosi is not happy. harry reid is not happy. the congressional black caucus is not happy. he has a fire under him. we'll see how he responds in the next week or two. >> a.b., when does the private sector get attention on creating jobs what do you think obama and his economic team could do about that? >> the problem is there's bipartisan outrage but disagreement on what should be done. liberals want more stimulus and conservatives want tax relief to go back to small businesses to spur hiring and nobody wants more deficits. he's in a real corner. the president has to decide which way to go. it seems to me like finding ways to redirect t.a.r.p. money and finding ways to find remaining stimulus money that could be used for those purposes to spur hiring in the private sector would be a useful bipartisan effort. at this point, though, joan's point is so key here, ed, and
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that is that liberals are now revolting against the president. so he's taking it from all sides. he no longer has democrats defending him. this is why, though, it might not be his katrina, he might not be incompetent, it might be the issue that could break him. >> we just had a democratic congress on defending the president. it's not all democrats jumping off the obama ship. >> not all, but many. >> they just want to see him hit the gas on this for lack of a better term. let's talk afghanistan quickly if we can. joan walsh, a tax increase to pay for this. would that be a political killer for the president? >> oh, it absolutely would. democrats would -- you would see both sides jumping off the ship. you know, he is really going to hear a lot more from his base on afghanistan even than jobs. people are very, very concerned, very opposed to an escalation. at a time like this, to have our money, our scarce money going to afghanistan and not to our schools and to creating jobs and to health care is offensive. i like the idea, ed, in the
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sense, you know, put your money where your mouth is if you're going to do this, stop increasing the deficit for war. that's the only reason we can ever increase the deficit, right? we have to pay for health care. >> a.b., how do we get around 35,000 more troops, $40 billion? i mean, there's no end to it. >> no, there isn't. the thing is the president has to come out -- we know he's taking a long time deliberating because he never liked the options in nfront of him. we hear he's going to send 30,000 more troops with a an exit plan. i don't know at this point he can convince a majority of the americans opposed to the war that it's worth escalating to find an exit ramp. it's going to be hard for him to find enough support in the left of his party to get that through congress and pay for it. >> thanks for joining us tonight. appreciate it. earlier i asked the audience, are you willing to pay higher taxes to fund the war? 28% of you said yes. 72% said no. that's "the ed show."